Trust giving young people a voice in facility development

Blackpool FC Community Trust will help to make their new Community and Education Facility more accessible for young people over the next three months after being awarded £9,960 from the Building Connections Fund Youth strand. The Trust, based at Bloomfield Road Stadium will work with young people to come up with detailed improvements that may include a gym, education facilities and activity spaces to help build connections and tackle loneliness. Work is expected to be completed by March when the Community and Education centre will be used to host the Blackpool FC Community Trust education and employability pathways, health programmes and physical activity sessions, alongside various community sessions. Any young people who want to be involved in designing improvements to the facility, should contact Blackpool FC Community Trust on 01253 348691 or email selina.hayes@bfcct.co.uk. Funding is being delivered by the Co-op Foundation as part of the Building Connections Fund Youth strand, a partnership with government. Selina Hayes, Blackpool FC Community Trust, said: “Giving young people in Blackpool a chance to make a difference in their local community through voicing their ideas is so important in making sure we can make the best of this facility development.  Often young people feel like they don’t have a say, or do not feel like they are able to make a difference.  We cannot develop a facility to benefit young people without involving them in the process, it just wouldn’t work.  Hopefully this project will bring more young people together to make a difference to themselves and their community.” Jim Cooke, Head of the Co-op Foundation, said: “Spaces where young people can come together to enjoy shared interests are important for building connections and tackling youth loneliness. By involving young people in improving local spaces, we’re helping to increase their confidence and skills, while also building stronger, co-operative communities. We look forward to seeing the impact this funding has tackling youth loneliness across England.” The Building Connections Fund is a partnership between government, Co-op Foundation the Big Lottery Fund to tackle loneliness and improve community connections. Co-op Foundation is delivering grants for all projects supported through the youth-specific strand. This builds on funding awarded to more than 120 projects in December that included befriending services, community arts groups and support schemes.  For more information or to request interviews with spokespeople, contact Selina Hayes 01253 348691.